taught by ghosts

There is an app my nieces and daughter and Magali all get a kick out of; I watched them play with at Christmas. Superimposes red lipstick on photos of faces or objects, projects feminine or masculine or sci-fi features onto anyone’s face or pet or object. I’m taking a course on new screen realities such as virtual reality, 360 video, locative media, interactive narratives and augmented reality (AR). In the first class the professor made a reference to AR and I didn’t understand but I didn’t want to publicly reveal yet how much I didn’t know. I waited for a discreet moment and asked her what she meant. She said if you had a photo of something and then with your cell phone noticed that photo it would be picked up. I have no idea what you just said. She explained again and added that it would be picked up by the camera of your cell phone. I still had no idea what she was talking about or why anyone would care or what they would do with this. Then she referenced that app that all those females played with last Christmas. Ah ha – so that’s augmented reality.
A few hours later I was reading articles about the value of AR for the future, for learning and even for compassion. Then I realized musicians have been using AR ever since recording and playback technology. The best and most important music teachers in my life were people I never met but grew up studying their recordings. You could say an artist positioned like that is teaching themselves but they couldn’t do it without the recordings of the subject. Whose to say then that the subjects recorded weren’t your teachers? Either way that’s AR isn’t it?
The person and the instrument they are playing is not physically here in the room and yet they are…and you are learning from someone who isn’t really there and is.

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